Turkey extends troops mandate to Afghanistan

The parliament of Turkey this week approved a motion to extend Turkish deployment in Afghanistan for 18 months as part of NATO’s support mission in the war-weary country, local news agencies reported.

The motion was submitted by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week.

“Turkey, which has deep friendship and brotherhood ties with Afghanistan, has always backed the unity, integrity, and independence of Afghanistan,” the motion read.

According to the TRT, the legislation was put into effect on January 6, 2019, allowing the Turkish government to send troops to Afghanistan to support the NATO-led mission Resolute Support.

The legislation that was first passed in 2015 also grants the government authority to permit foreign army personnel to be transported to and from Afghanistan through Turkey, the report said.

Local media reports state that Turkey has about 1,200 soldiers in Afghanistan.

NATO has around 12,000 soldiers in Afghanistan who are tasked with helping to train and advise the Afghan Security and Defense Force (ANSDF).